The council is spending thousands of pounds replacing stolen drain covers, with a spate of incidents happening in the last week and a half.

Fourteen drain covers, also known as gully grates, have been stolen since September 7, in west Reading on:

  • Granville Road (x5)
  • Tay Road (x3)
  • Normanstead Road (x2)
  • Elvaston Way
  • Ullswater Drive
  • Ferndale Close
  • Amblecote Road

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The council says the thieves have a removable section in their transit van which allows them to park over the gully.

All thefts have been reported to Thames Valley Police.

Reading Borough Council (RBC) is appealing to residents to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the council and police.

Each stolen gully grate costs the council close to £1,000 as initally a steel plate must be installed as an emergency, and then a subsequent call out is required to carry out a full repair and install a new gully grate and frame.

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The last time there was a spate of gully grate thefts in Reading was in 2017, with up to 30 being stolen, costing the council around £25,000.